Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here to connect with an adoption professional.
International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency and/or attorney. You can learn more about international adoption here.
Foster Care Adoptions in New Jersey can be completed through the Department of Children and Families.
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in New Jersey?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and 10 years older than the child they adopt. You can own or rent a home. The child can share a bedroom but must have his/her own bed. You can be single, married, or divorced. While those looking to adopt don’t need to be wealthy, you need a steady income to provide for a growing family. Parents need to complete pre service training and a home study.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in New Jersey?
Advertising: An adoption intermediary (person or entity without a license) is banned from receiving money or anything of value for placement of an adopted child. § 9:3-38(l); 9:3-39.1(a)(4)
Relinquishment: Birth mothers must wait at least 72 hours after birth of their child to give consent for adoption. Alleged fathers who deny a claim to paternity before or after birth surrender their parental rights thus allowing the child to be adopted. Consent can only be revoked at the discretion of the courts upon a finding that consent came under fraud or duress or the agency taking the surrender. § 9:3-41(a),(e)
Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may provide for the following expenses: birth related medical, hospital, counseling, or illness of child or mother; reasonable living expenses for the mother during pregnancy including food, shelter, clothing, and religious or other counseling; if the child is born in a foreign country, customary foreign agency fees; attorney and legal fees. Payments cannot extend 4 weeks beyond the birth of the child.
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in New Jersey are not legally enforceable.
Birth father rights: While no paternity registry exists in New Jersey, unmarried fathers can take alternate steps to establish paternity and receive the right to notice of adoption proceedings. Parent child relationship may be established by: adjudicated paternity in court, giving full faith or credit to determination of paternity made by another State, certificate of parentage signed by the father, a default judgement or court order, or an order made by the court based on genetic testing. § 9:17-41
Finalization: Out of 1,021 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 11.2 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Is Adoption Assistance Available in New Jersey?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in New Jersey have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In New Jersey, the maximum monthly amount ranges from $737-877. For more information click here.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Readoption after a foreign adoption decree is an option in New Jersey but not required. New Jersey is one of only 13 states that accepts a foreign adoption decree when parents petition the court to receive a State birth certificate for their child.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact:
Betty Berzin, Assistant Director
Karen Krohnemann, Subsidy Program
Department of Children & Families
Division of Child Protection & Permanency (CP&P)
Office of Adoption Operations
50 East State St., CN 717
Trenton, NJ 08625
Subsidy Hotline: 1-800-847-5027
Adoptions in NJ can be completed through the Department of Children and Families.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old (10 years older than the adoptee). You can own or rent. The child can share a bedroom but must have his/her own bed.
Birth mothers must wait at least 72 hours after birth of their child to give consent for adoption. Consent can only be revoked at the discretion of the courts upon a finding that consent came under fraud or duress or the agency taking the surrender allows birth parents to revoke.
Contact agreements in New Jersey are not legally enforceable. No paternity registry exist in NJ for unmarried fathers. Contact agreements are not legally enforceable.
Adoptive parents may provide for the following expenses: birth related medical, hospital, counseling, or illness of child or mother; reasonable living expenses for the mother during pregnancy; and counseling fees.